Archive for November, 2010

Thinking about Grace

Posted 24 Nov 2010 — by nick
Category Jesus, Ministry, Scripture, Spirituality

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Lately the topic of grace has been on my mind, in a different sense than usual though. In the past weeks I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking of God’s grace solely as undeserved forgiveness. It’s always been easy to see where I’m far from God – the times I lose sight of the Kingdom of God and embrace the kingdom of Nick. Grace is ever-present when I acknowledge my faults and turn back. I get that sort of grace.

The difference lately comes not in the distance from God in a classic “sinning” sense, but in a more crafty “sinning” sense. Somewhere in the past few weeks I’ve fallen into a mindset that God’s favor is won when I live a certain way, when I do certain ministry tasks, when I’m a good missionary. To which God says “Nope, it’s about Grace.”

I can find myself in this trap of thinking, I’m doing pretty good, God must be happy with me because of that. To which I hear “Nope, it’s about Grace.” He’s always happy with me, because when He sees me He sees a dearly loved son – not my past, present or future. Just a son washed clean.

So the grace goes both ways. Not just forgiveness of my sins, but forgiveness of my thinking that I earned any of my standing with God. Which you wise folks might point out is sin as well.

November 2010 Update

Posted 07 Nov 2010 — by nick
Category Family, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, Spirituality

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for November 2010.

Download (PDF, 378KB)

Celebrating Baptism

Posted 02 Nov 2010 — by nick
Category Creation, Friends, Fun, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, News, Spirituality, Technology

Summit Church Beach BaptismsI spent last week in Orlando, FL near the headquarters of GCM, as a stop along the support raising trail back to campus. My good friend Chris hosted me at his place for the week as I worked at finding times to meet with folks and share about the work I do and – during the off hours – spent much time working on upgrading the GCM network firewall with our IT department.

Shortly after arriving in Orlando I found myself standing on the beach facing the Atlantic Ocean. Chris’ church was holding their Baptism service – which is much more of a celebration than most churches I’ve attended. I loved the atmosphere and excitement as we celebrated brothers and sisters making a public display of the inward commitment they had made to follow Jesus.

Together in community we shared a meal, cheered as 113 folks were baptized in the waves of the Atlantic (including some more notable figures), worshiped together in music and voice and shared our lives. This church thinks about baptism much the way that Illini Life does – it’s an event we want to celebrate as a church community. It’s worthy of celebrating as we watch others make a public declaration to the church body that they belong to Jesus.